Selecting Shin Pads.
Why Use Shin Pads?
Choosing Your Shin Pads
- Goalkeepers -
choose lightweight pads that still allow for agility, as goalies tend
not to come into too many collisions with other players.
- Defenders -
choose fairly large pads, which also have an ankle protector as there
is very frequent contact with opponents during the game.
- Midfielders - choose pads which allow for rapid movements with maximum protection.
- Strikers - choose lighter weight pads that allow for quick movements and speed.
- EVA foam - used to line the interior of a product for protection. Very versatile as a material.
- Foam rubber - a lightweight material, which can be shaped. Doesn't provide the same level of protection as fiberglass.
- Fiberglass - a lightweight but stiff and strong material that provides excellent protection.
- Polyurethane (PU) - probably the most widely used material, not light, but with almost perfect shock absorption properties.
- Plastic - inexpensive material with very low protective properties.
Let's not forget about selecting the football itself! After all, without the ball, there is no game. Balls differ in size, weight, and of course design. Choosing a ball based on its size or bounce will also be dependent on the age and experience of the player.
The Original Football
Footballs have undergone many improvements in both the technical and material aspect since their inception. Today's football differs much from the first football model; hand-stitched balls didn't allow for a uniform shape and were exclusively made from natural leather. The ball itself became heavy when wet, and even a danger to some players.
Present Day Football Balls
Today's balls are mainly comprised of 32 panels, which are either stitched or glued together. Balls are moreover manufactured from synthetic materials instead of natural leather.
How To Choose a Football
The main selection criteria is the size of the ball. The standard size of a football is 5, which is used in all matches at the senior categories. Then there is a size 4, which is suitable for children from 8 to 12 years of age. Size 3 is suitable for children up to the age of 8 . Size 1 is suitable for training skills with a ball.
Types Of Footballs
In the past, balls were made of leather, but leather has a tendency to absorb water causing the ball to become very heavy, so nowadays footballs are made of synthetic material. There are three types of synthetic material: PU, PVC and a mixture of those.
Balls made out of PVC are cheaper, harder, and last longer than PU, which is why these are often used as practice balls. Players who look for peak performance generally use PU balls though.
The Environment of the Game in The Selection Process
When playing on a dry surface, a classic leather ball is suitable. If playing on a wet field however, a ball made from synthetic materials (not prone to absorbing water) would be more appropriate, as it won't change its weight or shape.
How To Recognize a Good Quality Ball
How do you recognize a quality ball? A key indication will of course be its price. The higher the price ; the higher the quality, technology and more durable it will be. Of course, this may not always apply, but it is one of the most immediate and telling of guidelines.